Senate Intel Chair: 'There may need to be certain changes made' to House-passed TikTok bill

Warner says the 165 day timeline for the Chinese company Bytedance to divest its stake in TikTok could see a change: 'I'm talking with folks on that'

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, expects the House-passed bill that could lead to a ban on TikTok in the U.S. might need to be amended in the Senate

Warner told reporters last week the changes could involve the timeline that it requires Bytedance to divest in the popular smartphone app.

"Senator Rubio and I, my ranking member on the Intelligence Committee, we've said we want to support that legislation and get a hearing in the Senate. There may need to be certain changes made," Warner said Thursday.

"But I think, you know, having this debate on the floor of the Senate, making sure people realize what's at stake, that we're not trying to eliminate something that a lot of people like, but we're just trying to make sure that ultimately that control is not held by the Communist Party of China," he added.

The bill, which passed the House and is pending in the Senate, requires the Chinese company Bytedance to divest its stake in TikTok within 165 days. Former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is actively putting together a group to make an offer to purchase the app, which Warner said is valued at about $100 billion.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Wednesday that the Senate "will review the legislation when it comes over from the House." He did not take a position on the legislation. 

Just the News asked Warner if he is concerned that the TikTok bill could alienate young voters if TikTok gets banned after the 6 month timeline in the bill, which could expire ahead of the November election.

"I think most TikTok users, if this rolls out appropriately and a new buyer takes over and as long as that algorithm does not reside in Beijing and goes with the ownership of a company, that folks who enjoy that experience will still be able to use it. Folks who make a living as social influencers will still be able to do it," Warner said in response.

"But I've yet to have any, even the firmest TikTok advocates say, 'Well, yeah, it's really important to me that Beijing and the Communist Party of China collects this data.' They want to have the experience. I think 99.9% of users would be just as happy or frankly happier if it was controlled by an enterprise that was not under the Communist Party,” he added.

Warner continued, “So I think if the timeline, that's one of the issues that we're still looking at, the six month timeline, a reasonable timeline. I'm talking with folks on that. I'll be anxious to see, again, how many bidders come out in these next few days.”